Disposable Electrochemical Sensor to Evaluate the Phytoremediation of the Aquatic Plant <i>Lemna minor</i> L. toward Pb<sup>2+</sup> and/or Cd<sup>2+</sup>

In this work a miniaturized and disposable electrochemical sensor was developed to evaluate the cadmium and lead ion phytoremediation potential by the floating aquatic macrophyte <i>Lemna minor</i> L. The sensor is based on a screen-printed electrode modified “in-situ” with bismuth film, which is more environmentally friendly than the mercury-based sensor usually adopted for lead and cadmium ion detection. The sensor was coupled with a portable potentiostat for the simultaneous measurement of cadmium and lead ions by stripping analysis. The optimized analytical system allows the simultaneous detection of both heavy metals at the ppb level (LOD equal to 0.3 and 2 ppb for lead and cadmium ions, respectively) with the advantage of using a miniaturized and cost-effective system. The sensor was then applied for the evaluation of Pb<sup>2+</sup> or/and Cd<sup>2+</sup> uptake by measuring the amount of the heavy metals both in growth medium and in plant tissues during 1 week experiments. In this way, the use of <i>Lemna minor</i> coupled with a portable electrochemical sensor allows the set up of a model system able both to remove the heavy metals and to measure “in-situ” the magnitude of heavy metal removal.